The Sportful Fiandre NoRain Women's Jacket is a performance-fit, thick fleece winter jacket offering great protection from wind with some water resistance from showers. It's a great option for cold late-autumn days through to spring.
Pros: Warm, with good weather protection
Cons: Hem isn't very elastic and no gripper
The jacket is designed for winter, with thick fleecing that's super-warm, very good windproofing properties from the Gore Windstopper 4 Way Mid and 4 Way Warm fabrics, and NoRain thermal inserts providing the water repellency. It feels like a jersey with the properties of a jacket, and is a very useful option against the elements.
Testing my usual size medium, the jacket fits as I would expect, though the sleeves are pretty snug; they're comfortable, but I couldn't get a long-sleeve baselayer on as well. It's a thick fleece jacket, though, and I found a short-sleeved baselayer more than enough.
Fit on the body is great apart from the bottom hem, which isn't particularly elastic and doesn't hug that tightly to stop draughts, though nothing too drastic.
For spray protection Sportful has given the jacket a drop-down tail that can be folded up. I don't really get the point of a fold-down tail – I just wore it down all the time.
On a 10°C day I was toasty – not unpleasantly so, but I knew I had been working, building up a bit of a sweat. With a short-sleeve baselayer underneath, the combination of the breathability of the jacket and the baselayer working together kept me comfortable and protected from the elements.
The jacket is rated by Sportful as having a temperature range of 0-15°C. The low temperatures are no problem, but over 10 and it is getting a bit warm, unless you really feel the cold.
On a cold winter day, with rain possible, the Fiandre NoRain comes into its own. The Gore Windstopper fabrics are excellent. On my green test jacket it is the green sections that are Gore Windstopper, the NoRain fabric the black sections on the back and forearms.
The NoRain fabric is very good, but there is a limit to how long it will keep you dry. A ride with intermittent showers is perfectly doable, but persistent rain will eventually get through. On a short ride in damp, misty rain the NoRain sections coped well, but the other sections got damp. The fabric is quite quick to dry, which helps, as does the waterproof zipper.
Although it's listed as having three rear pockets, the jacket actually has just two big ones, which is okay, though I do prefer three.
There is some reflective detail on the cuffs and hem, with the large sliver zipper matching the reflective trim. Other details include a decent collar and zip guard.
> Buyer's Guide: 14 of the best winter cycling jackets
At £180, the Fiandre NoRain is up towards the top of the price range. Is it worth it? Well, its performance on cold days is very good, and it'll keep you riding through winter – as long as it's not too wet. A very similar but cheaper one to consider is the dhb Aeron Full Protection Softshell I also tested recently; at £110 it saves a chunk of cash and still offers great wind protection.
Well-made jacket ideal for cold winter rides, with great protective qualities
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Make and model: Sportful Fiandre NoRain W Jacket
Tell us what the jacket is for
Sportful says, 'This is an all-conditions warm winter jacket that combines great thermal protection with wind and water resistance.'
And: "Whether you are riding in harsh winter conditions or just want the warmth that this jacket offers as soon as the seasons start to change, this jacket will keep you warm and dry. Thick, fleece lined Windstopper protection where it is needed combined with the highly water resistant brushed No Rain Fabric will protect you from the elements. Versatile construction will be equally as comfortable on cold dry winter days thanks to the breathbility that allows excess heat and moisture to escape."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
Gore® Windstopper® 4 Way Mid & Warm for warmth and protection
NoRain Thermal inserts for breathability
YKK® Vislon® waterproof zipper
Drop-down tail for spray protection that can be folded up
Lie-flat elastic on front hem
3 rear pockets
Weight: 436 grams
Suggested Temperature range: 0°C to + 15°C
Rate the jacket for quality of construction:
Rate the jacket for performance:
Great for the winter, performs very well in cold conditions.
Rate the jacket for durability:
Rate the jacket for waterproofing
Some fabric is NoRain, but it's not fully waterproof.
Rate the jacket for breathability
It is a thick fleeced jacket, but good breathability.
Rate the jacket for fit:
Figure-hugging performance cut. Arms are snug but comfortable.
Rate the jacket for sizing:
Size medium came up as expected.
Rate the jacket for weight:
Rate the jacket for comfort:
Very comfortable to wear.
Rate the jacket for value:
It's a high-end performance jacket, so while it's not cheap it is on par with others. It's not a bargain but I'd say it's worth the money.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed no problem at all.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It performed its purpose as a winter jacket well – it's warm, windproof and water resistant.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
The wind and water resistance.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
The bottom hem isn't very body hugging.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Maybe
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
I give it a 'very good' as it functions as a winter jacket really well. The only thing I didn't like was the bottom hem.
Age: 36 Height: 168cm Weight: 60kg
I usually ride: specailized dolce My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking
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